If the woodman's axe did not spare,
but rather felled the very tree
that fed upon his promised care,
what hope is there for me,
who bruised and withered do not dare
to look for pity in his eyes?
How can the thistle gain a crown
when the oak received no prize
from him who chose it for his own?
Thus, with the rejected dies 
our hope.  And we are trampled down
By emptiness and fright.

Yet in this dying night a flame
pierces our darkness to ignite
an infant branch that came
forth from the chosen root, so we might 
learn to speak the name:
I am and I will be.

We found no God who stays the same
above this changing, dying sphere.
For the aloof must stay unknown
when we seek him in the skies.
And yet he comes to set us free
when we see him with us, here.

--- Mahlon H. Smith


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* Author's note: This reflection on Exodus 3 & Isaiah 11
was first published as a Christmas card
  (December 1962).

Silkscreen by author: Theophany.

Collected Poems
Mahlon H Smith

copyright 2005
all rights reserved